Atypical Myopathy warning! The University of Liege has reported 73 cases of Atypical Myopathy in Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Netherlands and UK in April 2019.
The toxin responsible for atypical myopathy is contained in sycamore seedlings. Currently, there are large numbers of sycamore seedlings, therefore, it is imperative to avoid horses ingesting them. Please check your fields to make sure it doesn’t contain these seedlings.
The following points may help manage your pasture:
• Temporarily limit access to pastures containing sycamore seedlings (or limit grazing to avoid areas where seedlings are present in large numbers).
• Limit pasture time to a few hours a day (the majority of cases grazed > 6h / day).
• When possible, feed the horses before putting them out.
• Organise the rotation of pastures to offer fields with good grass (beware laminitis!).
• Do not place food (hay or other) on the ground where there are seedlings (but supplementary hay can be protective if not much grass).
• Try to destroy the seedlings as early as possible by mowing, harrowing (cutting/ break the cotyledons of the seedlings should kill them) and/ or burn them. For reasons of environmental protection, avoid chemicals. Be careful, do not offer these pastures right away as it has been shown that even faded seedlings still contain the toxin. Wait until the seedlings have disappeared and the grass has grown.
• Consider cutting branches of sycamore trees near pastures to avoid the production of flowers and seeds.